United Quest℠ Card Review: 3X miles on United purchases and more
United Quest℠ Card
CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons
- New cardholders can earn 80,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open.
- Receive up to $125 in statement credits each account anniversary year as reimbursement for United purchases charged to your card.
- Starting with your first anniversary, you'll get 5,000 miles back in your MileagePlus account after you take a United or United Express-operated award flight booked with your miles - up to two times every anniversary year.
- At $250 the annual fee might be a bit steep for those loyal to other airlines.
As lockdowns and travel restrictions are progressively being lifted around the globe, travelers with pent up wanderlust are all looking for their next vacation destination. If you have the inclination to sip a tropical drink on the beach or walk the cobblestone streets in Europe, having a travel rewards credit card with great points earning potential can help you to scratch that travel itch.
The United Quest℠ Card, with an excellent new card member bonus, great everyday rewards earning, and a plethora of travel perks, could be the card that helps assist you in going on your next dream vacation.
One of the strongest benefits of the United Quest℠ Card is the $125 in statement credits that card members can earn each account anniversary year as reimbursement for United purchases charged to your United Quest℠ Card. This can help to offset the costs of a flight, onboard purchases, or any eligible United purchase.
The United Quest℠ Card also has competitive tiered rewards categories allowing you to earn:
- Three miles per $1 spent on United purchases immediately after earning your $125 annual United purchase credit
- Two miles per $1 spent on all other travel (including airfare, trains, and local transit)
- Two miles on dining and on select streaming services (including Disney+, Hulu, Netflix)
- One mile on all other purchases
- Earn a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
- $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
- Buy Now, Pay Later: Enjoy $0 intro plan fees when you use Plan It® to split up large purchases into monthly installments. Pay $0 plan fees on plans created during the first 12 months after account opening. Plans created after that will have a monthly plan fee up to 1.33% of each purchase amount moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase, and other factors.
- Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%
- 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
- 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
- 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
- 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
- Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
- Terms Apply.
The United Quest℠ Card is currently offering new cardholders 80,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open.
Additionally, starting with your first cardholder anniversary, you'll get 5,000 miles back after you take a United award flight booked with your miles - up to two times every anniversary year allowing you to earn a maximum of 10,000 miles per year back.
As a travel credit card, the United Quest℠ Card features a number of lucrative travel benefits in addition to earning bonus rewards on flights, including:
- Free first and second checked bags on United operated flights for the primary cardholder and one companion traveling on the same reservation
- No foreign transaction fees
- Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit
- Priority Boarding privileges for the primary cardholder and companions on the same reservation
- 25% back as a statement credit on inflight purchases of food, beverages and Wi-Fi on board United flights when you pay with your United Quest Card
- The primary cardholder who is also a Mileage Plus Premier® member and traveling on an award ticket can take advantage of Complimentary Premier Upgrades on United-operated flights when available
- Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance with reimbursement up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip for your pre-paid, non-refundable passenger fares, if your trip is canceled or cut short by sickness, severe weather and other covered situations
- Lost luggage reimbursement with up to $3,000 reimbursement for your checked or carry-on luggage that is damaged or lost by the carrier- also gives coverage to an immediate family member
- Trip delay reimbursement coverage up to $500 per ticket if your travel is delayed more than 12 hours or requires an overnight stay
While not a deal breaker, the $250 annual fee for the United Quest℠ Card could be a downside for those who prefer to have low or no-annual-fee cards. There are certainly ways to offset the cost of the Quest card’s annual fee including taking full advantage of the $125 annual statement credit, the Global entry/TSA PreCheck reimbursement, and the waived checked bag fees. If you do not frequently travel on United flights then the annual fee may be a more difficult to offset.
Many of the benefits of the card are skewed towards those who are frequent travelers with United. These include statement credits on United purchases, anniversary reward flight reimbursements, and bonus points earned on United purchases, as well as others. If you are not a frequent traveler on United flights then it may be difficult to take full advantage of the Quest card’s benefits and alternative travel rewards cards with lower annual fees may provide similar earnings on generic travel purchases.
United Quest℠ Card vs. United℠ Explorer Card
If you want to earn Mileageplus miles but don’t want to spend so much on the annual fee the United℠ Explorer Card could be a great alternative to the Quest card.
The United℠ Explorer Card has a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 after that which is significantly lower than the cost of the Quest card.
The United℠ Explorer Card is also offering an introductory bonus of 60,000 bonus MileagePlus mileswhen you spend $3,000 in the first three months. This is less than you could earn with the Quest card, but remember, the annual fee is also less.
The Explorer card’s ongoing rewards also aren’t quite as lucrative, but are still good for fans of United looking for a low-annual-fee card. Explorer cardholders earn two miles per $1 spent on purchases from United, dining, and hotel accommodations purchased directly with the hotel, and one mile on all other purchases.
United Quest℠ Card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card could be a strong contender compared to the United Quest℠ Card. With a lower annual fee of $95 versus the $250 annual fee for the Quest card, the Sapphire card has great points earning potential including 5X total points on all travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal; 3X points on dining, including eligible delivery services and takeout; 3X points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs); 3X points on select streaming services; 2X points on travel purchases; and 1X point on all other purchases.
The welcome bonus for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is notable because when redeemed for travel through the Chase portal it is worth as much as $750. New cardholders can earn 60,000 bonus points once spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
Another benefit of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the flexibility of Ultimate Rewards points which can be transferred to various hotel and airline travel partners (including United) while the United MileagePlus miles that the Quest card earns have more limited redemption options.
United Quest℠ Card vs. Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
If you are not a frequent traveler on United flights and want a different airline-specific credit card option, one that is worth your consideration is the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card. It offers a new cardholder bonus of 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 in the first three months. It also offers a $75 Southwest annual travel credit each year.
The card's annual fee is lower at $149, but one downside to the SouthWest Priority card is the earning potential is a bit more limited with three points earned per $1 spent on Southwest Airlines flights and hotel/car rental partners as well as two points per $1 on local transit and commuting (including rideshares) and on internet, cable, phone services and select streaming and one point per $1 on other eligible purchases. If Southwest is your airline of choice, though, the Priority card may be the more suitable option.
Frequent United travelers who want to earn extra MileagePlus miles while saving on baggage fees, earn annual statement credits, and get a ton of travel perks should consider applying for the United Quest℠ Card. The annual fee can be easily offset by frequent United travelers and that fee is far outweighed by the card's benefits including the large new cardholder bonus and its everyday earning potential.